Some Brief (But Important!) Reminders about Prayer

Mary PrayingSome insights on prayer to think about today:

How does prayer help us?

“And the more we pray, the happier we become. The more we pray, the less anxious we become, and we are filled with a greater peace of mind and heart. The more we pray, the more we understand ourselves, for we come to know God more intimately, by experience – and we really only know ourselves to the degree that we know God personally. The more we pray, we begin to see the hand of God in our day to day life, that is, we see Him acting in our life. We begin to see that He loves us, personally. That makes life so much more meaningful.” -Deacon Doug McManaman, “The Importance of Prayer

How does prayer help the world?

As Catholics, we believe that prayer is astoundingly powerful. The prayers of the saints have had an impact on history unmatched by political and social world leaders over the centuries. All of humanity has benefited from the prayers of the saints. Look at our Blessed Mother Mary. Did not her prayer and submission to God impact the world in the most profound way? Does not her continued intercession on our behalf influence the hearts of all people around the world, as she encourages us always to say our own “yes” to our Heavenly Father?

“…see prayer for what it is: a matter of life or death, your lifeline to God, to life itself. Is this exaggerated? Are there more important things? Love, for instance? We need love absolutely; but the love we need is agape, the love that only God has and is; so unless we go to God for it, we won’t get it. And going to God for it means prayer. So unless we pray, we will not love.” -Peter Kreeft, “Lesson One in Prayer

Mary, Mother of the Church

PopeBenedictXVIDid you hear about Our Holy Father’s beautiful words on Pentecost about the role of the Blessed Mother in our celebration of this holy day?

Pope Benedict XVI said that “there is no Church without Pentecost” and “there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary.” Read more here.

Let us all continue to call on the intercession of our Blessed Mother as we enter into Ordinary Time again.

Take time to grow in your faith this season; visit CatholicsComeHome.org.

Getting to Know Our Lady…

Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation, and we commemorated Our Mother Mary’s “fiat” that should remind us of our need to grow in holiness and conformity to the will of God this Lent.

AnnunciationoftheLordWe have so much to learn from Mary’s life after this beautiful event. But what about the pre-Annunciation Mary? What can Our Lady teach us about humility and virtue through our glimpses of her early life?

Check out this great article by Dr. Ted Sri: The Original Mary: Our Lady’s Life Before the Annunciation.

You are in our prayers here at CatholicsComeHome.org as we prepare to enter Holy Week! God bless!

From the prayer corner…

CrystalRosary2“Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God pass through the Blessed Mother.” -St. Padre Pio

During Lent, we are all called to deepen our prayer lives. What more powerful way is there for us to do that than to pray the Holy Rosary?

In Rosarium Virginis Mariae (RVM), Pope John Paul II conveyed a powerful reflection on the importance of the Rosary in his own life and shared with us how we can do the same.

Read this wonderful article: Enter the Mystery: Pope John Paul II’s Practical Insights for Greater Devotion by Dr. Ted Sri which beautifully outlines some of Pope John Paul II’s great insights.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

To grow in your Catholic Faith this Lent, visit CatholicsComeHome.org.

Thoughts on Lent from our Holy Fathers…

“Conversion to Christ, believing in the Gospel, ultimately means this: to exit the illusion of self-sufficiency in order to discover and accept one’s own need—the need of others and God, the need of His forgiveness and His friendship.” -Pope Benedict XVI, Lenten Message 2010

PopeBenedictXVI“In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a ‘therapy’ to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God.” -Pope Benedict XVI, Lenten Message 2009

“How should we respond to the invitation to conversion that Jesus addresses to us in this time of Lent? How can there be a serious change in our life? First of all, we must open our hearts to the penetrating call that comes to us from the Liturgy. The time of preparation for Easter is a providential gift from the Lord and a precious opportunity to draw closer to him, turning inward to listen to his promptings deep within.” -Pope John Paul II, Lenten Message 2001Pope JPII

“It is my fervent hope that believers will find this Lent a favorable time for bearing witness to the Gospel of charity in every place, since the vocation to charity is the heart of all true evangelization. To this end I invoke the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and pray that she will accompany us on our Lenten journey.” -Pope John Paul II, Lenten Message 2003

To grow in your Catholic Faith this Lenten season, visit CatholicsComeHome.org.

Following the example of Our Mother this Lenten Season

As you begin your journey through this Lenten season, think of the areas in your life where you are not allowing yourself to be the person God wants you to be. What can you do to make your will in more perfect conformity to His?

To help us with this process of conformity to the will of God, we can look to our Blessed Mother, who perfectly exemplifies how to live up to the high hopes our Father has for us.

“God has to have two pictures of us: one is what we are, and the other is what we ought to be…There is, actually, only one person in all humanity of whom God has one picture and in whom there is a perfect conformity between what He wanted her to be and what she is, and that is His Own Mother. Most of us are a minus sign, in the sense that we do not fulfill the high hopes the Heavenly Father has for us. But Mary is an equal sign. The Ideal that God had of her, that she is, and in the flesh” (The World’s First Love, Fulton J. Sheen, pp. 12-13).

Most Immaculate Virgin Mary, pray for us!

To grow in knowledge of your Catholic Faith this Lent, visit CatholicsComeHome.org.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Why do Catholics honor Mary as Mother of God?

Simple: Jesus is the son of Mary. Jesus is God. Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God.

On this holy feast day, we take a moment as we start our new year to honor our Blessed Mother, who in her “yes” to God brought our Savior into the world to redeem us.

Lost & Found Tip: Jesus says on the cross, “Behold your Mother.” As we all jump into the frenzy of the new year and start attempting to bring our resolutions to fruition, let us call on the aid of our Mother Mary to give us the strength to draw closer to her Son every day this year.

Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!

To learn more about Mary as the Mother of God, visit the Church teaching section of CatholicsComeHome.org today.

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Today marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the celebration of Mary being freed from original sin. But where do Catholics get this teaching of the Immaculate Conception? Is it biblical? Absolutely.

Check out this great article by Fr. William Saunders about the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0774.html

“The ‘splendor of an entirely unique holiness’ by which Mary is ‘enriched from the first instant of her conception’ comes wholly from Christ: she is ‘redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son’. The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person ‘in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ and chose her ‘in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love’.” (CCC 492)